Morning Lovely People
Hope you all had a lovely weekend.
We have a treat of a festival meets woodland wedding to share with you today. It’s so good in fact that we have had to split it into 2 parts!
Gareth and Rachel married over the weekend of the 12th-14th of July 2013 at a stunning woodland venue tucked away along the west coast of Wales called Fforest. Spread over 3 days and with a theme that was simply ‘you and me,’ their vision was to have a relaxed and outdoorsy celebration, with their most favourite people in the world, that was immersed in and designed around everything they loved as a couple……….sounds like the perfect wedding to me.
Their venue, described as being ‘rustic, laid back and soothing to the soul’ couldn’t have been the more idyllic setting. Fforest is an eco retreat surrounded by 200 acres of beautiful woodlands and countryside and comes with a plethora of camping, yurt or lodge options where guests can stay. You have the freedom to explore the 200 acres of lush meadows and woodland or you can just kick back and relax on a deck chair, soak up the surroundings and watch the sun set with an ice cold local beer from the bar. I want to go there now!
Today we are sharing Part 1 of Gareth and Rachel’s wedding – their intimate legal ceremony which took place on the Friday in Bwthyn, a quaint miniature pub that is within walking distance from the main guest area and is licensed for legal ceremonies. This was then followed by champagne and nibbles by their lodge and an afternoon/evening of music and entertainment put on by family and friends and aptly named ‘Willowstock’ after their adorable dog Willow.
Get ready to be blown away by this gorgeous tranquil wedding caught beautifully by one of our favourite wedding photographers, Debs Ivelja.
Over to Gareth and Rachel…..
A Three Day Wedding Extravaganza…..
Our three day wedding extravaganza was set in the stunning and completely unique Fforest in west Wales. Gareth was brought up in Wales, and is so passionate about the country that we knew we had to be married there. I stumbled across FForest cymbin after an online search for a rustic outdoor venue where all our friends and family could stay for a long weekend, and instantly knew I had found somewhere special. It was the only venue we visited, and it was love at first sight. They only had one date left for the summer of 2013 so we booked that day!
Fforest is set in acres of rolling woodland and meadows, with beautiful tipis and domes on wooden decks scattered amongst the countryside for guests to stay in. The place oozes rustic charm with a gorgeous old stone bwthyn (pub), giant tipi overlooking the meadows, firepits, vegetable patches and greenhouses, and a cosy sauna. My mind was already swimming with ideas and excitement when we visited the venue for the first time – it is the perfect blank canvas for a relaxed and creative wedding for nature lovers. The only risk…. it is Wales after all, so it might rain! (We did re-visit the venue once before the big day and were in wellies and waterproof trousers surrounded by howling gales – yep that worried us!)
We need not have feared – Wales was on her best behaviour that day and our wedding fell on the hottest weekend of the whole year! We planned our wedding so that all our guests arrived on the Friday evening and checked into their gorgeous ‘outdoor hotel’ accommodation. Gareth and I were legally married in a small ceremony earlier that afternoon with just immediate family on the Friday in the small bwthyn – we decked it out with candles, wild flowers and a log fire. We thought it might be a bit formal, but it ended up being incredibly special. It was lovely walking round that evening and greeting all our friends as they arrived, set up BBQs and downed cool beers in the sunset. Later that evening we opened up the little pub and had an open mic night – we have a lot of very talented friends that play in bands, so it made for a great little evening under the stars.
Handmade with love…..
I really wanted Mum to make my wedding dress as it would mean so much to me. However when we saw the materials on offer, complicated dresses in the shops and the lack of sewing patterns, we started to feel a bit daunted about the task at hand. Because of the way the wedding worked out, with us being married in a legal ceremony, and then a humanist ceremony, I was able to have two wedding dresses (yippee!), so this was perfect for us making a more simple and relaxed wedding dress for the small Friday ceremony. Mum made the most beautiful fitted lace dress – we had a lot of trying on sessions and ‘ouch that was a pin!’ shrieks – but she worked so hard on it and the dress was perfect. I felt so proud to be wearing something she had made especially for me.
A Daper Groom…..
Gareth’s outfit on the Friday was a surprise, like my dress on the Friday, and he looked so handsome in what he had chosen. He wore a jacket and chinos from John Rocha together with a shirt from Red Herring.
I spent hours pouring over pictures online to find the flowers we would go for. For the Friday I wanted something that would be colourful and remind us of a country garden – we ordered a big bouquet of colourful sweetpeas, but on the day it was so hot they all wilted and so the florist had to do a last minute replacement with similar colours.
An Indulgent Process….
I designed and drew all the wedding invitations, cake labels, and little leaflets for the weekend that we left in everyone’s tents telling them what was happening during the wedding. I really miss art so this was a very indulgent process and I had a great time working with a local printer to get them all sorted. Best of all, the invites only cost £20p each!
THE LINE UPPhotographer: Debs Ivelja Photography
Venue: Fforest Brides Dress: Handmade by Brides Mum Groom: Suit – John Rocha; Shirt – Red Herring
Flowers: Fforest Decor and Styling: DIY
Part 2 of this gorgeous wedding will be on our festival pages first thing tomorrow morning and you don’t want to miss it!
Festival Brides xx